Depleted Uranium - HEAL Utah

hazardous for so much longer than the low-‐level radioactive waste that Utah currently accepts. The waste disposed here now loses the vast majority of its.
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Depleted  Uranium:  Wrong  For  Utah   What  is  Depleted  Uranium?   • • •

Nuclear  waste  that  is  left  over  when  uranium  is  enriched  for  nuclear  weapons  and   for  nuclear  reactor  fuel. Most  of  the  nation’s  Depleted  Uranium  is  held  by  the  federal  Department  of  Energy.   Up  to  700,000  tons  of  it  stored  at  federal  facilities  in  Kentucky  and  Ohio. Before  coming  to  Utah,  it  would  be  de-­‐converted  to  a  more  stable  form  and  stored  in   steel  containers.

Depleted  Uranium  is  Different  than  Other  Nuclear  Waste •

 It  actually  gets  more  radioactive  over  time  -­‐-­‐  unlike  most  radioactive  materials,   which  become  less  hazardous  as  they  decay.  In  fact,  at  its  peak,  depleted  uranium   grows  to  be  nearly  14  times  as   radioactive  as  when  it  is  initially   stored.   • Depleted  Uranium  stays   hazardous  for  so  much  longer  than  the   low-­‐level  radioactive  waste  that  Utah   currently  accepts.  The  waste  disposed   here  now  loses  the  vast  majority  of  its   hazard  in  100  to  200  years  –  while   Depleted  Uranium  grows  more   dangerous  for  several  million  years. The  graph  on  the  left  from  the  NRC  shows  the  stark  difference:  Typical  waste   becomes  inert  within  a  century  or  two,  while  Depleted  Uranium  will  remain  a  threat   to  human  health  and  safety  for  untold  generations  to  come.

EnergySolutions  wants  to  bring  up  to  700,000  tons  of  Depleted  Uranium  to   Utah • •

In  2009,  the  company  began  taking  shipments  of  the  material  from  the  Department   of  Energy. After  Utah  media  and  citizens  found  out,  and  raised  a  stink,  Gov.  Gary  Herbert   ordered  the  shipments  suspended  until  a  study  could  be  done  to  make  sure   Depleted  Uranium  is  safe. EnergySolutions  hired  a  consultant  that  turned  in  a  study  in  2011  which  concluded,   not  surprisingly,  that  a  shallow  disposal  site  in  the  West  Desert  was  a  perfectly   reasonable  place  to  dispose  of  nuclear  waste  that  will  grow  hazardous  for  more  than   a  million  years. The  state  of  Utah  hired  its  own  consultant  to  evaluate  that  study  (technically   referred  to  as  the  “Performance  Assessment.)  The  consultant  and  the  state  are   issuing  their  review  of  the  assessment  on  April  13,  kicking  off  a  public  comment   period  and  hearings  in  May.  A  decision  on  Depleted  Uranium  is  expected  this   summer.

  EnergySolutions  has  Repeatedly  Refused  to  Answer  Critical  Questions   about  Depleted  Uranium •

The  state  of  Utah,  as  it  has  evaluated  the  study,  has  repeatedly  pressed   EnergySolutions  to  model  a  wider  range  of  scenarios  and  calculate  doses,  to  give  a   truer  picture  of  how  Depleted  Uranium  might  affect  future  generations  of  Utahns.   The  company  has  refused.   In its review, out April 13, the state flatly states that “the EnergySolutions DU PA has not satisfied all of the Department’s concerns and the topics are not resolved at this time,” in eight separate areas.   For example, in their analysis of what might happen over the next few million years, the   company  refused  to  acknowledge  that  DU  waste  could  be  obliterated  and  dispersed   when  water  levels  from  the  Great  Salt  Lake  rise  –  as  geologists  assure  us  they  will.    

  Utah  has  Plenty  of  Reasons  to  Reject  Depleted  Uranium •

EnergySolutions’  computer  model  was  able  to  conclude  that  up  to  700,000  tons  in   the  West  Desert  won’t  jeopardize  human  health  -­‐-­‐  by  ignoring  every  scenario  that   could  have  led  to  a  different  outcome • Nearly  a  decade  ago,  the  Utah  Legislature   voted  overwhelmingly  to  ban  radioactive  wastes   that  would